Not only is this the last day of the Charlie Crist administration, but also that of Jeff Kottkamp's tenure as Lieutenant Governor, an event that will be mourned by Florida political reporters, from whom he has given much over the past four years.
But how many others can say the same, from any Lieutenant Governor in Florida? Saturday's front page story by the St. Pete Times' Steve Bousquet that Kottkamp's travels cost taxpayers over a million dollars the past four years should revive the question of why the state even needs such a position. The story reports that Kottkamp's travel budget largess in this time of fiscal austerity is prompting changes:
"We are tightening our belt agencywide and looking at ways to conduct every aspect of our business in a more fiscally prudent manner, and the security detail that we provide to the governor's office is no exception," agency spokeswoman Courtney Heidelberg said.
The state did not make a distinction between official and personal trips. By law, the FHP is responsible for protecting Kottkamp at all times.
Heidelberg said security procedures will be tightened for the new administration, but she could not discuss details because of safety considerations.
"We will establish clear protocols as to the nature and scope of the detail," Heidelberg said.